Page 745 - Kosovo Metohija Heritage
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the service book, the candleholders—all this was smashed and scattered throughout the church.
Various icons hanging on the wall were smashed, only the vessels for Holy Communion on the altar were spared and nothing else. The tongue from the bell in the bell tower was removed and taken.
in the morning i prepared and set out for church when the sexton and two tutors, who had gone ahead of me to prepare the fire, came to me in tears and wept as they told me everything that had happened in the church. When we came there the spectacle was indescribable, not the great- est barbarians could have produced it. The Local People’s Council and the Police have been advised,” concludes the parish priest of Ranilug in his report.
The Bishop, on his part, writes that he has informed the District People’s Council for Kosovo and Metohija in Priš- tina and the Commission for Religious affairs of the Gov- ernment of the Federal People’s Republic in Yugoslavia in Belgrade of this act, asking them for protection.16
Bishop Vladimir of Raška and Prizren informed the Ho- ly Synod of Bishops that the state authorities demanded a taxed request for permission to hold a meeting of the Pro- visional Trusteeship of the church parish of istok, and that this meeting was attended by their representative, who signed the meeting minutes.
in this regard, the Holy Synod of Bishops decided on june 27, 1947, to send a protest to the Presidency of the Government of the Federal People’s Republic of Yugosla- via, asking that state authorities not interfere in internal church affairs.17
On October 9, 1947, the Holy Synod of Bishops dis- cussed, and joined to the relevant dossier, the report of Bishop Vladimir of Raška and Prizren that officials of OZ- Na [security agency of Communist Yugoslavia] in Gnjila- ne had confiscated all documents that the bishop’s deputy in Gnjilane had gathered in accordance with notice Syn No 780/zap. 140/47, with information on the suffering and per- secution of the Serbs during World War ii.18
The Year 1948
By another act, No 439 from April 17/4, 1948, the Bishop sent the report of the parish priest of Crkoleš, No 32 from april 13, 1948, forwarded to him by the Bishop’s Deputy in Peć, saying:
“i wish to inform the Bishop’s Deputy’s Office in Peć that the Local Council of Crkolež has thrown the parish archive out of the parish office and moved it to the Coop- erative although there were other buildings nearby. i com- plained to the District authorities but nothing was done; therefore, i would like to ask you to inform competent church authorities to intercede with higher state officials
16 AHSB, Syn No 6/1948.
17 AHSB, Syn No 2041/zap. 561/47.
18 AHSB, Syn No 3069/zap. 831/47.
Church-people gathering in Zemanica, the feast of Transfiguration, 1960. The ethnographic Museum, Belgrade.
to free my parish office, which is my own building where they have put the Cooperative and their office merely to obstruct the performance of church rituals and the main- tenance of the parish administration.”19
With regard to the confiscation of the church in Uroše- vac for the storage of food, Bishop Vladimir, by act No 1967 from September 9, 1948, sent the District People’s Council for Kosovo and Metohija in Priština an act of the following content:
“From church officials in Uroševac we have received the very sad news regarding the confiscation of the church for the storage of food. This fact is not only regrettable but also illegal and unconstitutional and thus we ask ourselves in wonder: how it is possible for such things to happen and be done when they are contrary to the laws that the State itself has signed and thus obligated all citizens, first and foremost, its own officials, to respect them and carry them out scrupulously. This church has been confiscated con- trary to the wishes of the faithful who gather there to pray, who pour out their feelings and their wishes there in order to receive consolation for their souls and renewed strength to live and work for their own good and the good of their people. By actions such as this the authorities are confis- cating [the faithful’s] only consolation and possibility to pray to God and carry out their religious needs in their church, a right given them by the State Constitution.
Such an act is all the more regrettable because it was carried out just before the church’s patron saint’s day, which is a traditional celebration of the Serbian Orthodox people, and which they celebrated even under the difficult days of their enslavement under the Turks while, however, their own people’s government obstructs it and prevents it from taking place.
19 AHSB, Syn No 6/1948.
The Suffering and Persecution in Kosovo and Metohija from 1945 to 2005

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